Melo Franco, Afrânio de (1870–1943)

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Melo Franco, Afrânio de (1870–1943)

Afrânio de Melo Franco (b. 25 February 1870; d. 1 January 1943), Brazilian politician and diplomat. Afrânio de Melo Franco was born into a prominent family of the state of Minas Gerais. Trained as a lawyer, he joined with other students in 1889 to support Brazil's transition to a republican government dominated by powerful states ("Rule of the Governors"). During the First Republic he served as secretary of the legation to Uruguay, a federal deputy (1906–1929), and eventually as Brazil's representative to the League of Nations (1924–1926). As a leading mineiro, Melo Franco benefited from the political power of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, known as the "café com leite" (coffee with milk) alliance. In 1929 Melo Franco threw his support to Getúlio Vargas in the national contest for power leading to the Estado Novo. Vargas made Melo Franco his first minister of foreign relations (1930–33), giving him a relatively free hand in the running of Itamaraty. Melo Franco reorganized the ministry, emphasizing foreign trade and, in light of growing world tensions, Pan-Americanism. Along with Oswaldo Aranha, Melo Franco viewed cooperation with the United States as the surest road to national security and the key to Brazil's growing power within Latin America. Melo Franco represented Brazil at the Inter-American Conference of 1938, where he helped induce Argentina to join in the Declaration of Lima. He broke with Vargas in 1933 over a question of political patronage and, just before his death, joined the Friends of America, a group seeking democratization and an end to the Estado Novo.

See alsoEstado Novo .


Alfonso Arinos de Melo Franco, Um estadista da república: Afrânio de Melo Franco e seu tempo, 3 vols. (1955).

Israel Beloch and Alzira Alves de Abreu, eds., Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico Brasileiro, 1930–1983 (1984).

Peter Flynn, Brazil: A Political Analysis (1978).

Stanley E. Hilton, Brazil and the Great Powers, 1930–1939 (1975).

Additional Bibliography

Soares, Alvaro Teixeira. Afrânio de Melo Franco, diplomata e internacionalista. Rio de Janeiro: Ministério das Relações Exteriores, Seção de Publicaçoes, 1970.

                                     Elizabeth A. Cobbs

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Melo Franco, Afrânio de (1870–1943)

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